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Address:
Portland Mtn Rescue
P.O. Box 5391
Portland, Oregon
97228-5391

 
Phone:
503-222-PMRU (7678)
 
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Wednesday, May 29, 2002
(Updated Sunday, June 2, 2002)
 
Assembled from various news reports.
 
Three climbers are dead on Mount Rainier after bad weather overcame them near Liberty Cap.
 
According to a National Park Service spokesperson, a climbing party consisting of two men and two women were attempting to summit the 14,410-foot mountain via the challenging Liberty Ridge route when they were enveloped in a strong storm.  The party's tents were destroyed by the high winds, so they dug a snow cave near the 13,900-foot mark on the mountain's North side.
 
As two of the climbers entered the cave, one of the male climbers slipped on the ice and fell to his death.  The fourth person ran to tell the two climbers in the cave, but inadvertently walked over the cave's roof and collapsed the structure.  Much of their equipment and clothing were subsequently trapped inside the destroyed cave.  Some reports state that one climber did not have a jacket and another did not have the shells to their climbing boots, as the gear was buried in the snow.
 
Early Wednesday morning, after spending the night with the two women, the surviving man was able to descend to a pass at 7,800 feet.  At 11:15 am, he contacted authorities using a cell phone borrowed from a skier.
 
Nearly a dozen Mount Rainier National Park Climbing Rangers and two helicopter crews searched the mountain for hours on Wednesday afternoon.  They recovered the deceased man's body and found one of the women dead.
 
The other woman was spotted lying motionless in a crevasse just before the suspension of Wednesday's search due to bad weather.  Crews were able to retrieve her body on Thursday.  Evidently, she also fell at some point during the ordeal.
 
At least two of the three climbers killed were students at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.  The lone survivor is also a student at OSU.
 
Located 103 miles Northeast of Portland, Mount Rainier is the tallest Cascade Range mountain and is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.  The Washington peak is well known for its level of difficulty and unpredictable weather patterns.
 

 

2001- Portland Mountain Rescue
P.O. Box 5391
Portland, Oregon  97228-5391
 
Phone: 503.222.PMRU (7678)
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